The Far-Reaching Consequences of Siberia’s Climate-Change-Driven Wildfires
by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com
Higher temperatures and drier surface conditions are providing ideal conditions for these fires to burn and to persist for so long over such a large area,” European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts fire specialist Mark Parrington says in a statement, per the New York Times. The smoke from the fires alone spans over 1,000 miles, per the Post, and is causing hazy skies the northwestern United States, as Nick Morgan reports for the Mail Tribune.
Permafrost is rich in organic material that froze before it could completely decompose. Melting permafrost releases greenhouse gases on top of the pollution released by the blazes themselves, per National Geographic. All of which could exacerbate further climate change.
After a month of blazes that released record-breaking amounts of polluting gases, smoke from Siberian wildfires are now making their way to the west coast of the United States.
The New York Times’ Somini Sengupta reports that Arctic wildfires in June released more pollution than in the previous 18 years that data had been collected. Seasonal wildfires are common in Siberia, but this year’s fires are unusually widespread in part because of a climate change-driven heatwave, as Madeleine Stone reports for National Geographic….read more: